Monthly Archives: December 2014

A Paintbrush Primer

For speed, nothing beats paint rollers and sprayers, but brushes will never lose their place in the painter’s toolbox. Only they can do the kind of fine detail work that makes an interior painting or exterior painting job look truly finished. It’s brushes that can reach into tight corners and into trim’s nooks and crannies, trace around window sills and sashes, cut into ceilings, and color along floors.

types of paintbrushes - interior painting company MA

Not all paintbrushes brushes are created equal, however. And even the best paintbrush on the market won’t be suited to every application. Today we’re going to take a look at the anatomy of a paintbrush and what makes a great paintbrush so useful.

Natural vs. Synthetic

Natural bristles from boar or oxen have naturally flagged (i.e., split) tips that are perfect for holding onto paint and then releasing it gradually through each stroke. Some are extremely durable, making them especially useful when painting rough surfaces that might shred a less hardy brush. That doesn’t mean natural bristle paintbrushes can’t lay down a smooth coat, however. Traditionally natural paintbrushes have been the go-to choice for painters using oil paints, varnishes, glossy enamels, poly, and shellac.

Water-based paints are typically paired with synthetic brushes that are crafted from nylon, polyester, or a mix of both. Nylon is the better choice if the choice is between one or the other because it’s very long-lasting, handles well on rough surfaces, and can lay down a smooth coat. However, it can also soak up water and get floppy after prolonged use. The appeal of polyester brushes is in the price tag – but remember that you get what you pay for. The best synthetic option is a paintbrush with both nylon (for durability and action) and polyester filaments (for firmness). Some synthetic brushes have even been designed to mimic the feel of natural bristles, making them appropriate for oil paints and finishes.

Shape for Form and Function

Paintbrushes came in a dizzying variety of sizes and shapes, from your most basic brush that looks like what you see in your mind’s eye when you picture a paintbrush to tiny detail brushes with curved flexible elastomeric (and ergonomic) handles. Some brushes have extra long handles and bent heads for reaching behind things like radiators or into deep crevices. Angled sashes let painters make extra accurate strokes – especially along narrow strips. Tapers offer a painter the ability to control how much paint is released, from wide stripes to fine feathered edges. There are paintbrushes with bristles bunched into a square shape, extra narrow brushes, and extra wide ones, too. And they all have their own uses, so don’t make the mistake of thinking a paintbrush is a paintbrush is a paintbrush.

Choosing the Right Paintbrush

Whether you are tackling an interior painting job or an exterior painting job, a quality brush will make it easier. The true test of a paintbrush’s quality is how well it picks up and releases paint. While there’s no way to test that in a store, reading reviews before shopping can help. And when you’re ready to shop, look for things like tapering (which indicates the brush will form a line as you paint rather than flailing out), a full body (there should be a reservoir in the middle but plenty of filaments on both sides), soft bristles, and quality construction.

At Jerry Enos Interior Painting Company, we know the right products for the job. Every Massachusetts exterior painting and interior painting project is different, and unlike other MA interior painting companies, we will always treat your house, building, or surface as one-of-a-kind. Call us for a free estimate at 978-546-6843.

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Lead Paint: Abatement vs. Encapsulation

Lead paint wasn’t banned in the US until 1978 and before that it was used all over the place. Chances are if your home was built before the early 80s there’s lead paint on your walls. It’s probably lurking underneath more than a few layers of non-lead paint – which is good – but that means peeling paint and paint dust from renovations make lead exposure a real possibility – which is bad. Even a little lead paint dust can be harmful, especially to small children.

Once you know or even suspect that there’s lead paint in your home, it’s time to consider encapsulation or abatement. Most people opt for encapsulation, which involves prepping walls to remove all loose paint and then applying a special liquid coating sufficient to encapsulate (or seal in) the lead paint underneath. Sometimes sheetrock or tile is installed over lead paint to keep dust from entering the air. Note that regular paint is NOT an encapsulant.

The alternative is abatement (sometimes ordered by a state or local government), which is the total removal of lead paint performed by an abatement company licensed to safely strip a house of all lead paint. In this case, the hazard posed by lead paint is removed permanently but for many people the cost of removal is prohibitive because the abatement process itself is expensive and afterwards a house or apartment will still need prepping, priming, and painting.

In either case, remodeling work in homes with suspected lead paint should always be done by an EPA Lead-Safe Certified Renovator who will know how to safely work around lead paint and keep it from spreading during renovations. Find an EPA Lead-Safe Certified Renovator at http://www.leadfreekids.org.

This story originally appeared in our monthly newsletter, Prime Time by Jerry Enos Painting company in Massachusettsto subscribe, contact us!

Put It on Your To Do List: Winterizing Your Deck

Your wood deck has supported you all summer; now it’s time for you to return the favor. In fall and winter, decks take a lot of abuse from wind and rain, leaves piling up, and then ice and snow.

To ensure that your deck is barbecue ready come spring you need to prepare it for the onslaught of weather that’s coming soon. Here’s what you need to do sooner rather than later. Winter will be here before you know it!

The first step is to evaluate the current condition of your cleared deck. Sprinkle water on as many different areas as you can and see what happens. If water soaks right in it’s time to reseal but if it puddles your deck’s seal is probably sufficient to make it through another winter.

A once-over to check for splintering, rot, warped boards, cupping, popped nails, mold, and mildew is important. Making repairs now before harsh weather arrives can prevent further damage.

But assuming the seal is good and everything is in good condition, the next step is giving your deck a good cleaning. First sweep up dirt and debris, paying special attention to the spaces between boards where soil can collect. A leaf blower can speed this up! Then wash it with the deck soap formulation that’s right for the wood and rinse carefully.

Winterizing your deck may cost you a weekend of apple picking but the payoff will last all year because you’re not spending a lot to undo neglect.

This story originally appeared in our monthly newsletter, Prime Time by Jerry Enos Painting company in Massachusettsto subscribe, contact us!